Every year, well over 20,000 people move to Vancouver, creating a need for spaces in which to live and work. Combined with the geographical constraints of our region, the constant influx creates challenges and opportunities for the industry.

Darren, along with the commercial real estate group he has chaired for many years, is an integral part of helping our clients face challenges and capitalize on opportunities, playing a key role in creating communities.

Work Highlights

Pearson Dogwood Lands

  • $300+ million sale by Vancouver Coastal Health of 25-acre Pearson Dogwood Lands on Cambie Street in Vancouver
  • Arrangements for replacement health facilities to be constructed and transferred back in the future

Central City

  • $250 million purchase by Blackwood Partners of office tower and shopping centre complex in Surrey
  • Ongoing operations and future redevelopment

Target Canada

  • Purchase of leasehold assets of Zellers stores in BC
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Darren is a problem solver. This is just one of the advantages he brings from practicing in the same area for nearly 30 years. He has the ability to identify issues and provide strategic recommendations for our clients.

Services

Acquisitions and dispositions of income properties Residential, retail, office, industrial, hotel and mixed-use development
Public-private partnerships Seniors housing
Strata liquidation for re-development Conventional, strata and air space subdivision
Contaminated sites

Darren works collaboratively with our clients and develops innovations that recognize their needs, addressing issues from a business perspective in an industry defined by change and growth. Examples of these innovations include:

  • Developing CW Project Hub®, an online platform of efficiency tools that allows our clients to effectively collaborate and connect with us and all stakeholders in a development project. One of the fundamental principles behind this innovation is Darren’s belief that clients deserve information regarding their projects whenever they need it without incurring additional legal costs
  • Working with clients to implement alternative fee arrangements, where appropriate, as well as utilizing the training and ongoing education that Darren has pursued in the area of legal project management
  • Designing the legal structure for BC’s first campus-of-care-style development—a one part housing, one part healthcare arrangement—which helps seniors stay at home, comfortable and close to loved ones for as long as possible
  • Developing and implementing a co-development model for UBC Properties Trust, facilitating the creation of on-campus housing ownership opportunities for university faculty and staff
  • Creating CWRealEstate.ca, (formerly BCRElinks.com) a regularly updated source of hot industry topics and a library of free resources and legal templates for the BC real estate industry

Darren’s experience across a broad range of clients allows him to understand each unique business. He provides smart, strategic legal work that brings success to our clients’ projects in the communities and markets they serve.

Awards & Distinctions
  • Lexpert, Property Development, since 2010
  • Best Lawyers in Canada, Real Estate Law
*Donnelly Law Corporation
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Pearson Dogwood Lands
  • $300+ million sale by Vancouver Coastal Health of 25-acre Pearson Dogwood Lands on Cambie Street in Vancouver
  • Arrangements for replacement health facilities to be constructed and transferred back in the future
Central City
  • $250 million purchase by Blackwood Partners of office tower and shopping centre complex in Surrey
  • Ongoing operations and future redevelopment
Target Canada
  • Purchase of leasehold assets of Zellers stores in BC
Maple Ridge Town Centre
  • Complex unwinding of Public-Private Partnership after court of appeal ruled arrangement illegal
UBC Co-Development Projects
  • Creation of Co-Development model for UBC Properties Trust and development of five co-development projects
Westin Resort and Spa, Whistler
  • Development of large strata-titled resort property
"I have had the pleasure of working with Darren for several years on many of our organization’s most high value and strategic real estate transactions. I greatly value Darren’s deep expertise in all areas of real estate, his innovative problem solving skills and his practical, business-oriented approach. Darren has a tremendous talent for simplifying the complex and smoothing over the contentious in order to get a deal done. He is truly a trusted advisor and an incredibly valuable member of our extended team and I would not hesitate to recommend him to any colleagues or friends."

Suzanne Morris, Associate General Counsel, TELUS

"I have known Darren as a friend for 38 years and I am proud to say he has represented our company for the last 25 years. I have always found his advice comprehensive and sound. We look to Darren for legal as well as business advice and have always found him to be rational and calm. His calming personality has also been advantageous in resolving business issues with opposing counsel. I have on numerous occasions recommended Darren to associates as well as friends."

Scott Cressey, President, Cressey Development Corporation

"In my role directing the provincial government’s Release of Assets for Economic Generation program, disposing of major properties, I worked with dozens of lawyers and found Darren to be among the very best. His ability to clearly explain options and make strong recommendations to the various stakeholders, recognizing conflicting objectives and risk tolerances, made my job much easier. I would be happy to have Darren on my team any time."

Dyne Torgeson, President, Rainmaker Realty Solutions

"Over the last 15 years, I have worked with Darren on many large transactions. I refer clients to him frequently, but particularly when the deal is complex and requires sophisticated and practical legal counsel. Darren is creative and listens and quickly recognizes what is most important to his client in each deal. He finds ways to improve the deal for his client without letting his ego get in the way."

Kevin Meikle, Senior Vice President, Managing Director—Canada Capital Markets, Cushman & Wakefield Ltd.

Awards & Distinctions
  • Lexpert, Property Development, since 2010
  • Best Lawyers in Canada, Real Estate Law
Industry Involvement
  • Real Estate Legal issues Committee, Urban Development Institute Pacific Region
  • National Association of Industrial and Office Properties
  • International Council of Shopping Centers, Former Governance Chair (BC)
Community Commitments
  • Seymour Golf & Country Club, Former Director
  • University Student Housing Corporation, Former Director
  • North Shore Winter Club, Former Director
Education & Call to Bar
  • Call to Bar: British Columbia, 1987
  • Bachelor of Laws, University of British Columbia, 1986
  • Bachelor of Commerce, University of British Columbia, 1985